MHS boys storm into sub-state finals

By Steve Sell
March 07, 2014
Kendall Shaw

The clock ran out earlier than expected for the Buhler boys here Friday night in the Class 4A Division I sub-state at the Roundhouse.

After McPherson High was sweating bullets for nearly the entire first half, resulting in just a 22-16 lead, the Bullpups flipped the switch by scoring 29 third-quarter points, which kicked in the automatic running clock in the fourth quarter because of the 30-point rule as the score was 51-21.

The final eight minutes flew as MHS completed the 59-27 victory — its fourth this year over the Crusaders — to move to 19-1.

The No. 1-ranked Bullpups get their much-anticipated rematch with 2013 tormentor Abilene at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the right to advance next week to the Salina Bicentennial Center. The Cowboys, of course, stunned MHS in last year's sub-state semifinals after being behind by 14 points.

MHS couldn't shake the rust of a long layoff in the first half, missing all nine of its 3-pointers. But the Bullpups got it inside in the third quarter to hit 11 of 15 shots, while Buhler was a miserable 1 of 9, which led to the 29-5 spread.

"I thought they (Buhler) did a really good job in the first half," MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. "Honestly, I don't think it was rust, I think it was tightness. When you say to yourself, 'this is a game we probably should win, you know we've done it three times already, this is game if we don't win it ends our season — those are things that are hard to not let creep into your head and into your mind. I just thought we played tight. We go 0 of 9 from 3, and honestly the way we shot the ball in practice was unbelievable. Drew (Pyle) and Kyler (Kinnamon), they would shoot maybe for 20 minutes and miss just a couple… then when they didn't go in in the game for us, we kind of looked like, oh my goodness.'"

Ryan Horton had his best game of the year with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, along with five steals. Nathan Nutter displayed some toughness with 10 points despite a scalp wound.

No Crusader hit for double figures as Noah Webster was high with six points.

Now comes the rematch.

Abilene has some new components this year, but will be a tough out because of its height as six of its 12 players are 6-3 or taller.

"There's no secret how you have to handle length. If you don't put pressure on the basketball and you just allow them to throw it inside, you're going to be in trouble," Kinnamon said. "Abilene is the team probably closest to us in the number of sets that they run. We might see a little more 'Z" word (zone) tomorrow night. Certainly this place should be rocking and it should be a feel-good atmosphere tomorrow night."

MHS (59) — McDaniel 1-2,0-0, 2; Reed 0-1, 0-0, 0; Loecker 1-1, 0-0, 2; Pyle 2-4, 0-0, 4; Kinnamon 3-9, 0-0, 8; R. Horton 7-9, 0-1, 15; P. Horton 3-5, 0-0, 6; Wine 1-4, 2-2, 4; Nutter 4-5, 2-5, 10; Gabel 1-4, 6-7, 8. Totals — 23-44, 10-15, 59. 3-pointers — Kinnamon 2, R. Horton 1.

Buhler (27) — Webster 3-8, 0-0, 6; White 0-3, 0-0, 0; Wiehl 0-1, 0-0, 0; Lackey 1-1, 0-0, 3; Henricks 1-5, 2-2, 4; Davis 2-4, 1-2, 5; Tipton 0-1, 0-0, 0; Smith 0-0, 1-2, 1; Wedel 1-1, 1-1, 3; Williams 1-5, 3-4, 5. Totals — 9-29, 8-11, 27. 3-pointers — Lackey 1.

• Abilene 67, Ulysses 45 — Ulysses led 26-24 with 2:51 left in the first half, but Abilene unfurled a 13-0 run to close it out, then dominated the second half.

The Cowboys, who had a supreme height advantage, lit it up for 59 percent in the first half and barely cooled after the break, finishing at 58 percent for the game.

Jesse Patrick led Abilene with 14 points, while Keil Kelly and Tanner Hoekman added 13 and 10, respectively. Abilene had a 36-30 rebounding advantage.

Nathan Medina scored 11 points to lead Ulysses, with Tregg Rodriguez adding 10.

Abilene (67) — Johnson 1-2, 5-7, 7; Schwarting 1-1, 0-0, 2; Hazlett 1-1, 0-0, 2; Robinson 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hoekman 4-6, 1-3, 10; Kelly 6-10, 1-3, 14; Wilson 2-3, 0-0, 4; Patrick 6-9, 2-2, 14; Harm 3-6, 0-0, 6; Goodwin 3-4, 0-0, 6; Barbieri 1-5, 0-0, 2. Totals — 28-48, 8-15, 67. 3-pointers — Johnson 1, Hoekman 1, Patrick 1.

Ulysses (45) — Rodriguez 4-16, 1-2, 10; Walters 3-13, 1-1, 9; Nichols 0-1, 0-0, 0; Wiginton 1-2, 0-0, 3; Rudzik 2-4, 0-0, 5; Cantrell 0-4, 0-0, 0; Heredia 1-2, 0-0, 2; Borthwick 2-8, 0-0, 5; Medina 4-6, 3-4, 11. Totals — 17-56, 5-7, 45. 3-pointers — Walters 2, Rodriguez 1, Wiginton 1, Rudzik 1, Borthwick 1.


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